I ran my first race in the Run the Bay Series yesterday; the San Jose 408K Race to the Row. It was, in fact, my first race of 2017 and the first race in my brand new age bracket. Buh-bye 44-49, Hello 50-54!
I normally don’t travel far or pay for shorter races. And it’s not that I feel a certain way about shorter runs or think they aren’t worth it but I can bang out a 5 mile run for free. In my neighborhood. Plus, let’s talk economics. Race fees add up. But, as you can guess from my opening sentence, this is a SERIES. Meaning, special goodies and props for running all of the races involved. And besides, my friend Stephanie said it would be fun.
So at 5:45am we piled in my car and drove 75 minutes in the rain to San Jose. The race started at the SAP Center, home to the San Jose Sharks. And venue of many concerts including an upcoming show by Neil Diamond. I know! Neil Diamond!
This is a very well run race. Plenty of parking and cheap at $5, a large line of port-a-potties, a UPS bag drop and 4 Corrals for runners. They announced that there were close to 5,000 runners so it was a good field.
After the National Anthem and the wheelchair athletes, they started Wave 1 for the speedy demons and the folks who would have a chance at winning. There was about 5 minutes between waves so in Wave 2 we were next to go.
What I love about shorter races is that it’s a fantastic way to see how your training is going. You race. You push. You get uncomfortable. Sometimes that’s hard to do on your own.
What I dislike about shorter races is that it’s more of a cluster at the beginning. In a marathon you don’t worry about crowds because you are supposed to start slow and easy. There’s plenty of miles to settle in to your pace. In a shorter race I feel more pressure to get out the gate and go. So there’s a lot of moving around to find space to hit your stride. Luckily it was only for about half or three quarters of a mile before it opened up.
Stephanie and I stayed together for the first mile then settled in to our own paces.
Side note. My husband Brad asked if it’s expected that friends run together if they go to races together. He seemed to think it was weird and maybe rude that we didn’t stick together. I’ve done some races running with friends but most of the time I find it’s a hard thing to do because no one has the same pace and is able to run the same race on the same day. But I’m curious to hear what you think.
The course was pretty flat, mostly flat actually. There were some spectators, a Mariachi Mile at the end (3 or 4 mariachi bands playing along the last mile) and the Memorial Mile, a block along the course where veterans were invited to come and cheer the runners on. They were a great boost and I know that the runners were grateful for their presence and service to our country.
The race finished at Santana Row, which is a lovely outdoor shopping center with restaurants, etc. We were medaled, snacked, watered and directed to the shuttle buses to take us back to the start and our cars. Next time we will have to plan more time to have a proper meal and maybe a celebratory libation!
I’d definitely do this race again and am looking forward to the other two races in the series. For more info on the series click here.
Ok results, because when you race you want to see how it all went.
- Race Place: 402
- Chip Time: 00:41:51
- Pace: 08:22
- Age: 50
- Age Place: 8
- Gender Place: 116
Stephanie and I joked that no matter what we ran it would be a PR because neither of us had done an 8K before. So yeah, nailed that PR!
My next scheduled race is Ragnar So. Cal on April 7-8 so I’ve got some long runs to get under my belt. My three running legs total 25 miles. Cannot. Wait.
Now go run!